Operating Systems, Servers + Applications
Planning for the development of databases can be a daunting project for many businesses, not just due to the most common challenges faced in database development but also because of the complexity surrounding the planning process which includes predicting the costs and timeline for the database development itself.
WellData has assisted companies throughout projects for decades, creating a clear roadmap to success from the point of design, through to implementation and continuous management. As part of doing so, we’ve become experts at consulting businesses’ during their digital transformations, to answer questions such as, ‘how much will developing a database cost?’ and ‘how long will my database development project take?’
While it’s not helpful to answer with - ‘it depends’, there are several factors that your allocation of cost and time will depend upon.
The length of time which it takes to build a database as part of your development project is going to vary significantly depending on several factors. As with the cost of a database development project, there are some considerations that can impact the duration of the database development process.
Based on the expertise and experience of our team, we have suggested some key factors that can influence cost and time, which will help you consider an appropriate budget and timeline for the project.
The scope of the project, including the number of tables, entities, and relationships is going to impact the effort required of the development team and consequently, this will drive the cost upward. You will need to sufficiently plan the hours required for such a development project when creating a database development plan.
A small, simple database with a few tables and basic relationships would typically take less time compared to a large, complex database project with numerous tables, intricate relationships, and advanced functionalities.
It’s important to note that: During the development project process, you will need to undergo a planning phase and although this may seem to add unnecessary time to the project, it is a crucial step which should not be ignored as a ‘best practice for database development’. In fact, skipping the planning stage may lead to issues further along in the project due to an oversight with the project scope that needs corrective measures. Make sure you use this as an opportunity to identify data entities, relationships, business rules, and functional requirements of the database. The time spent on requirements gathering can range from days to weeks but it is likely to reduce risk of under budgeting.
The complexity of the database design relating to the normalisation, indexing and data integrity constraints will ultimately also affect development time and associated costs for database development specialists to assist throughout.
The cost of a database development team will depend on the rates charged by the chosen party. Rates may vary based on geographical location, experience level, and expertise of the developers involved.
You should consider how much experience is required of your database developers and how much manpower is required to complete the project in a timely manner. You may wish to consider a ‘development managed service’ which provides you with access to nearshore development teams who are available at a fixed, all-inclusive price. It is often a cheaper alternative to employing a team of internal database architects, developers and engineers. Many case studies are available to support the success of such service offerings.
The specific features and functionalities of a database; such as user authentication, data encryption, reporting capabilities, and integration with other systems, will increase the complexity and development effort somewhat too, thus impacting cost and time for implementation.
Your choice of database management system (DBMS) and related technologies can influence cost too. Some DBMSs are open-source and free, while others may require licensing fees or commercial support. Typically, the provider will have different support tiers which you should research thoroughly before installing a version which is not suitable or too complex for your requirements. Software licensing consultants can advise on the best fit for your requirements and check the agreements to ensure you are compliant. Failure to comply with the platform's usage terms may lead to unforeseen fines. You should allocate plenty of time to the selection of the best database management system to ensure longevity and opportunity for continuous digital transformation. Having the flexibility to scale up and down as your business requirements change is advantageous.
Following the consideration of the above, you can begin to consider the implementation and data population itself.
Once a database schema is designed, the next step is to implement the plans for your database and turn your bespoke database plans into a reality. To do so, database developers will start by creating the necessary tables, columns, indexes, and finally, add other database objects.
Additionally, if there is existing data that needs to be migrated to the new database, the process of data population can take time. The duration can vary based on the size and complexity of the data and the tools used for migration. Database migration projects are often daunting to the inexperienced team of DBAs so you should plan for additional support or be prepared to pay for issues as they arise.
Following the success of the previous steps, it is crucial that your team looks to test and refine the new database. Doing so can maximise the potential performance. It is the key success factor for you to achieve more cost-efficiency from a database in the long term.
Thorough testing is crucial to ensure the accuracy, performance, and reliability of the database. It involves validating data integrity, testing queries and transactions, and verifying the database's behaviour under different scenarios. The testing phase can range from a few days to several weeks, depending on the depth and complexity of the tests.
Once the database is tested and refined, it needs to be deployed to the production environment. This includes setting up the necessary hardware, software, and configurations. Ongoing maintenance, including backups, monitoring, and performance tuning, should also be considered as part of the overall timeline.
It's important to consider the ongoing maintenance and support costs for the database. This includes regular updates, bug fixes, performance optimization, and handling future enhancements.
To determine how much will a database development project cost for your specific project, it's recommended to consult with experienced database developers who can analyse your requirements and provide a detailed proposal with cost breakdowns. Remember that investing in a well-designed and robust database is crucial for long-term efficiency and scalability, and it can save costs in the future by avoiding data management and performance issues.
If your project has a tight deadline, you should consider using specialists with expertise and experience to reduce how long a database development project will take. WellData’s Database Developers are able to respond rapidly with bespoke solutions to fulfil development requirements and especially for those under pressure to complete a build quickly and meet short timelines. Speak to WellData about your database development project today and request an accurate quote from our team of experts.